Stewed Artichokes with Lemon and Garlic
Baby artichokes are less prickly than their larger cousins that grow on the same plant, and typically they have not developed a fuzzy choke, both of which make them easier to prepare than the larger variety. In fact, in Italy they are even eaten raw, thinly sliced and tossed with lemon juice and olive oil. Here they are lightly cooked with lemon, garlic and herbs for a flavorful dish that speaks of spring.
- 2 lemons
- 18 baby artichokes
- 10 garlic cloves, halved
- 5 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the lemons and set aside.
Fill a large bowl halfway with cold water. Cut 1 lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the water. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, break off the tough outer leaves to reach the pale green, tender inner leaves. Using a small knife, trim the dark green portions from the stem and base, then trim the stem. Cut 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the tops. Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise and slip the halves into the lemon water.
Drain the artichokes and place in a saucepan. Cut the remaining lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the saucepan. Add the reserved lemon zest, the garlic, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, salt and olive oil. Add enough water to cover the artichokes. Place a piece of parchment paper the diameter of the pan on top of the artichokes. Weight the parchment with a heatproof plate that rests directly on the artichokes.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the artichokes cool in the pan until tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Sprinkle the parsley on the top and serve immediately. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking from the Farmers’ Market, by Tasha DeSerio and Jodi Liano (Weldon Owen, 2010)